Instances of Anti-Semitism in NBA and the Games

Get to know about the leading instances of Anti-Semitism in the NBA matches and the management and how they impact the game.

What is Anti-Semitism?

Anti-Semitism, or prejudice against Jews, has been a persistent problem throughout history, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) is no exception. Despite the league’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, anti-Semitic incidents have occurred at various points in the NBA’s history. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most notable instances of anti-Semitism in the NBA.

Instances of Anti-Semitism: 


  • One of the most high-profile incidents of anti-Semitism in the NBA occurred in 2013 when Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was recorded making racist comments. During the conversation, Sterling was heard making anti-Semitic remarks, including a statement that Jews “don’t want to change.” The recording caused widespread outrage, and many players, including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, spoke out against Sterling’s comments. The NBA eventually banned Sterling from the league for life, fined him $2.5 million, and forced him to sell the team.
  • Another notable incident of anti-Semitism in the NBA occurred in 2014 when Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry made racist and anti-Semitic comments during a conference call. Ferry was discussing free agent Luol Deng, and he referred to him as someone who had “a little African in him.” He also made anti-Semitic remarks about Deng’s agent, who was Jewish. The comments caused widespread controversy and led to Ferry taking a leave of absence from the team. He eventually returned to the Hawks, but the incident highlighted the ongoing problem of anti-Semitism in the NBA.
  • More recently, in 2019, several anti-Semitic incidents occurred during games between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics. During a game, fans were heard shouting anti-Semitic slurs and making Nazi salutes. The incidents caused widespread outrage, and the NBA issued a statement condemning the behavior and saying that it would take action against any fans who engage in similar behavior in the future.
  • In addition to these high-profile incidents, there have been several other instances of anti-Semitic behavior in the NBA. For example, in 2017, several fans were caught on camera making anti-Semitic comments during a game between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. The NBA issued a statement condemning the behavior and said that it would take action to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

Despite these incidents, the NBA has taken several steps to address anti-Semitism and promote diversity and inclusion. For example, the league has a number of initiatives and programs aimed at promoting understanding and tolerance, including the NBA Cares program, which focuses on community service and outreach. The league has also launched the NBA Academy, a global network of basketball training centers designed to help young players develop their skills and achieve their goals.

In conclusion, while the NBA has made progress in addressing anti-Semitism and promoting diversity and inclusion, there is still much work to be done. The league must continue to take a strong stance against anti-Semitic behavior and work to create a more inclusive environment for all players and fans. The incidents discussed in this article serve as a reminder that anti-Semitism is a persistent problem and that everyone, including the NBA, has a role to play in addressing it. By working together, we can help to create a more inclusive and respectful world for all.

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